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Canton’s Wilson races to Class S championship in hurdles – The Collinsville Press
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Canton’s Wilson races to Class S championship in hurdles

Keith Wilson, left, won three individual events for Canton while Lucy Tanner won the first individual title for the Canton girls since 2007.

Keith Wilson, left, won a Class S championship in the 55 hurdles Saturday while Lucy Tanner finished sixth in the 55 hurdles.

NEW HAVEN, Feb. 8 – Canton’s Keith Wilson knows he is among the top sprinters in Class S. He proved it in the 55 meter hurdles at Saturday’s Class S indoor track and field championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High. 

He became just the fourth Canton athlete to win a Class S state championship, easily winning the 55 hurdles in 8.02 seconds, a whopping 0.25 seconds ahead of Morgan’s Chase LeMay (8.27 seconds). 

Wilson also ran on Canton’s 4×400 relay team that finished third with a school record time of 3:37.43 and qualified for next Saturday’s State Open championships. Riley Hollis, Wyatt Campbell and Colin Martin were the other runners on the relay team. 

Canton finished fifth with 28 points with Bloomfield winning its second straight state championship with 90 points. The last Canton athletes to win an indoor state championship came in 2010 when Mike LeDuc (3,200 meters) and Brian Magna (600) won a pair of races. 

Wilson came close to winning a second state championship. He and Bloomfield’s Jermaine Lascelles virtually tied in the final of the 300 meters. Lascelles beat Wilson to the line by 0.006 of a second. 

Wilson will have to be satisfied with the memory of his effort because he was disqualified for a lane violation – stepping out of his lane. There is no appeal of the judgment of the meet officials. 

Canton’s 4×200 relay team (Martin, Hollis, Campbell, John Solomon) finished fifth with the third best time in school history, 1:37.86. It’s best finish for the Warriors in this event. Canton’s 4×800 meter relay (Athan Chekas, Dean Yost, Zach Oliver, James Yost) finished sixth. 

It was a busy afternoon for the Yost brothers, who were celebrating their birthday.

Dean Yost ran his best time of the season in the 1,000 meters (2:45.11) to finish fifth. James Yost ran his time of the year in the 1,600 meters (4:46.73) to take sixth and shaved a couple of seconds of his personal-best time in the 3,200 meters (10:25.36) to take fifth. 

Martin finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 3¼ inches. A little shy of his school record of 20-7, it was good enough to earn Martin an invitation to next week’s State Open. 

Wilson will also be competing in the 55 hurdles at the Open, where he is seeded ninth. Martin is seeded 15th in the long jump while Canton’s 4×400 relay team is seeded 11th. 

On the girls side, Canton had its second medalwinner. Lucy Tanner took sixth in the 55 hurdles in 9.35 seconds, shaving 0.02 of a second off her own school record. The only other Canton girl to score points at a Class S meet was Kim Powell, who took third in the 1,000 meters in the first year of the program in 2007. 

Canton’s Kaelyn Oliver had a personal best time of 10.01 in the 55 hurdles, to finish 16th. It was an excellent time for a first-year hurdler. Her previous best time was 10.26 seconds. 

Canton’s 4×200 relay (Tanner, Elizabeth Raynor, Lindsey Milligan, Abby Briggs) shattered the school record with a time of 1:56.81, good enough to take ninth place. 

Eliza Chekas ran a personal best of 3:26.92 and finished eighth in the 1,000 meters. Chekas joined Tanner, Raynor and Briggs on Canton’s sprint medley relay team that took seventh in 4:41.08, the second-best time in school history. The sprint medley consists of legs of 200, 200, 400 and 800 meters.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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